Objective: To assess the clinical characteristics and outcome of patients with liver metastases in prostate carcinoma.
Patients and methods: From January 1995 to December 2005, 345 patients with metastatic prostate cancer were prospectively recorded in the database of the Montpellier Cancer Centre, France. The clinical characteristics and outcome of 28 patients who developed liver metastases during the course of the disease were analysed.
Results: Six patients had liver metastases as the first site of metastatic disease, and for one of them, liver was the only metastatic site. All but one patient had hormone-refractory disease. Serum measurement of neuroendocrine markers showed increased levels of chromogranin A and neurone-specific enolase in 84% and 44% of patients, respectively. Six patients had a pathological analysis; there were two different histological patterns in liver biopsies, i.e. four were adenocarcinomas with a moderate (one patient) or poor (three) differentiation and two were neuroendocrine carcinomas. Three patients had no treatment because of a poor performance status. One patient had hormone therapy for synchronous liver metastases at diagnosis as the first-line treatment; other patients were treated with chemotherapy. The median (range) overall survival was 6 (1-27) months; the median survival of patients for whom liver was part of the initial metastatic pattern was 14 months.
Conclusion: Liver metastases are not very rare but appear to be a rather late event in the course of the disease. They are frequently associated with neuroendocrine characteristics.